Fifth phase of vaccination to include youngsters

Children between the ages of 12 and 17 are expected to be included in the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme in its fifth phase, says Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba. He said this phase, which would likely kick off in August, would only take place if the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA) gives its approval for the Pfizer vaccine to be used on children in this age group. Dr Adham, when contacted, said so far only Pfizer had submitted a request for its vaccine to be used on children. Currently, Covid-19 vaccines available in the country can only be given to those aged 18 and above, as regulated by the NPRA. Dr Adham said as most of the Pfizer vaccine supply is expected to have arrived by then and herd immunity for adults would have been achieved, the government intends to also ensure children are protected from the virus. He also pointed out that Malaysia would not be the first in the region vaccinating children in that age bracket as authorities in Singapore and the Philippines had approved the Pfizer vaccine for children between 12 and 17 years of age. (The Star)

Tengku Zafrul: All payments for govt services to be made on cashless basis by 2022

The Ministry of Finance (MoF), under the recently launched MyDIGITAL, will ensure that payments for all government services will be made on a cashless basis by 2022, its Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz said. He said this will lead to higher transactional security, better coordination, enhanced communications on anti-corruption initiatives, and greater ease of sharing information. MyDIGITAL is the nation’s digital economy blueprint — envisioning how the country will move towards a more digitally connected economy on the Industrial Revolution 4.0 (IR 4.0) path. “As at the end of last year, 60% of the government’s total collection was through e-payment,” he said. So far, the government has pushed for digitalisation on various ends, including modernising the public service delivery and curb corruption, as this will reduce direct contact points between citizens and public officials. Tengku Zafrul said the government had shifted to electronic identification cards and biometric proof of identity for identification of citizens, expediting direct government assistance to ensure inclusiveness, accessibility, transparency and accountability. (The Edge)

Govt extends 50% discount on rental for federal land, buildings

The government has agreed to extend the 50% rental discount for tenants of federal land and buildings for another six months, according to energy and natural resources minister Shamsul Anuar Nasarah. He said the initiative would be extended from July 1 to Dec 31. “It is hoped that the initiative will help ease their burden following the implementation of the total lockdown, as well as to restructure their cash flow to sustain their businesses operating on federal land and buildings,” he said. The government had previously announced the extension of the rental discount till the end of this month. (Bernama)

Survey: Malaysians are shopping online more than before Covid-19

Juwai IQI’s latest survey on COVID-19 has found that 57% of Malaysians are shopping online more than they ever did pre-pandemic, leading to an unprecedented boom for online shopping in the country. Juwai IQI Group co-founder and chief executive officer, Kashif Ansari said that Lazada Malaysia reported a 300% increase in the number of new online sellers. He said that the online shopping boom coincides with the rapid acceleration of other parts of the economy, resulting in a surge of cashless payments, super app usage and mobile Internet penetration. “It’s happening in real estate, which used to be considered the most off-line of industries. Buyers can now complete almost the entire transaction without ever leaving their own home,” he added. “The new work-from-home phenomenon during the lockdowns has changed the sort of home that house buyers look for, as buyers are looking for bigger spaces, separate work nooks or home offices and extra bedrooms when they can afford them,” he said. Despite the current troubles, Kashif said 71% of Malaysians believe that life in the country will be back to the pre-pandemic normal by the end of 2022. (The Edge)

Dell Technologies sets up largest on-site solar panel globally in Malaysia

Dell Technologies has announced the implementation of its largest on-site solar panel installation globally at the Dell Technologies Asia Pacific Customer Centre in Bukit Mertajam, Penang. Dell Technologies said the solar photovoltaic system worth RM2.25 million is also a first in Southeast Asia for a Dell Technologies facility. “The 700 kilowatts peak (kWp) rooftop system consists of 1,590 highly efficient panels that are designed to produce nearly 1,000 MWh of renewable electricity annually. It will power more than 25% of the production lines at the 24-hour facility,” it said in a statement. Senior vice-president South Asia and managing director Malaysia, Pang Yee Beng said Dell Technologies has committed to reducing emissions across facilities, supply chain and in the energy intensity of the products over the next decade and reaching net zero emissions by 2050. (The Edge)